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A Closer Look at the Sumatran Elephant

Indonesia has many endemic and native animals, such as the komodo dragon and the orangutans in Kalimantan and Sumatra, besides those there is also a critically endangered species, the Sumatran Elephant. They've become endangered as a result of human beings exploitation of nature at will and business interests (the number of palm oil and land clearings) that make the Sumatran Elephant increasingly on the brink of extinction.

In 2016 the Sumatran elephant populations were already declining drastically, there were already 128 Sumatran elephant deaths reported in Riau province since 2004 and were usually caused by humans poaching and poisoning them.

Behind the story of the Sumatran Elephants they have some unique facts that we may not know. What are those facts? Let’s get to know them, shall we?

  1. Threatened with extinction
    Although the Sumatran elephants are protected under conservation laws since 1990, many still treat the elephants inhumanely. In 2012, the Sumatran elephants were listed as critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
  2. Their populations and habitats are decreasing
    The main cause of the decreasing Sumatran elephants populations and it’s critically endangered status is due the increasingly narrow land for them inhabit and roam. Forest areas that were often explored by Sumatran elephants are transformed into agricultural areas. There are now about 2400 - 2800 of Sumatran elephants . WWF estimates that there are about 330 Sumatran elephants that are still in existence in Riau Province.
    © Photo: RKHMN
  3. The need for considerable funds for the conservation of 1 Sumatran elephant
    The operational costs that are quite large is causing difficulties for the government to do conservation efforts for the Sumatran elephants. An elephant usually requires 150 kg of food and 180 liters of water per day. They also need a space of about 20 km per 1 elephant so they can move freely.
  4. Weak laws
    Although the Sumatran elephants are protected under the Indonesian law on the conservation of the Sumatran elephants livelihoods and ecosystems, which prohibit the taking, killing and swapping of Sumatran elephants, and with a fine of Rp 100 million and 5 years of imprisonment, there are still frequent violations due to weak law enforcement regarding this issue.
    © Photo: RKHMN
  5. Human contact
    Indeed at this time, humans who hunt the Sumatran elephants for their ivory has been much reduced. However,  the main enemy for the Sumatran elephants existence are still human beings. The Sumatran elephants acctually do not harm people; however, now and then the Sumatran elephants will search for their previous habitat and eventually go into human farms, and by doing so these elephants disrupt the farms, thus causing the locals to become irrate and start to regard the Sumatran elephants as scourge. This conflict with humans is the cause of the Sumatran elephant being critically endangered species.

Belantara Foundation supports local initiatives on conservation programs for protected wildlife such as elephants in the ecosystems of: Padang Sugihan, Bukit Tigapuluh, Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu, Sumatera and Berbak Sembilang in Jambi by providing grants for human and elephant conflict mitigation activities.

Fellow friends of Belantara, lets support the conservation program for protection of protected wildlife together, especially the Sumatran Elephants!

Source:  (alam budaya website)

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